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Vol. 70 No. 7
In this issue:
Great Decisions book group
LWVJoCo’s 2020 celebration
Spotlight on member Beth Seberger
Time to Celebrate!
Saturday, December 1
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park
With the election over, we can collectively catch our breath and have a little fun. Enjoy great food and conversation while we honor members who have gone “Above & Beyond” this year to empower voters. We’ll also pay tribute to our Lifetime Members, those who have spent decades going above and beyond during their 50+ years as Leaguers.
Read more about the Lifetime Members we are honoring.
Members: Please bring an appetizer, dessert or other finger food to share.
We know that 65 percent of Johnson County’s 419,403 voters turned out for the midterm election. So where did some people go for candidate information? LWV’s online voters’ guide, Vote411.org. Why online? Because printed voters’ guides have become too large and costly.
Vote411.org has been around for several years. In 2018, nearly 37,000 Kansans visited the website in 48,384 sessions. More than 2,000 people printed their ballots.
Candidates were asked to answer questions created by local leagues. For example, LWVJoCo sent five questions concerning the Board of County Commissioner races.
Statewide, about 60 percent of candidates in contested races posted answers on Vote411.org. “Each candidate received three e-mails for the primary and another three for the general election, in addition to being called to participate,” said Vote411 chair Carole Neal of Wichita LWV.
Vote411 also provides answers to FAQs and registration status verification. Grants to the League of Women Voters of Kansas totaling $6,000 paid for the software license from LWVUS and some keyboarding expenses.
What comes next? LWVK will get local league input for using Vote411.org in 2020. Hats off to Carole Neal, Jacqueline Lightcap and others at LWVK for their hard work!
Questions, concerns? Just let me know.
Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president
We Want to Hear From You!
2019 will be a breakout year for LWVJoCo. We must move to the next level, getting ready for the hugely important 2020 national elections.
Please plan to attend our January 5 meeting to help shape our LWVJoCo strategy for the next 20 months. Everything is open for discussion, including voter support, member activism, diversity, advocacy at city hall and candidate events. We need your input to make LWVJoCo even stronger!
Listen, Learn and Share
Become better informed by attending the LWVJoCo Great Decisions discussion group. The Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The League’s program involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting on eight Monday evenings, from February through May, to discuss critical global issues.
The briefing book provides analysis and resources for discussion of the eight topics chosen each year by a panel of experts. This year, we tackle critical issues from nuclear security to the future of Europe:
- Refugees and Global Migration
- The Middle East: Regional Disorder
- Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future?
- The Rise of Populism in Europe
- Decoding U.S.-China Trade
- Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics
- The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested
- State of the State Department and Diplomacy
The 2019 Great Decision books are now available for sale on the International Relations Council (IRC) website. Buy your book through the IRC for $25 (including shipping to your home in early January).
New members are always welcome. You do not have to be a LWV member to join a group.
For more information, contact Nan Wilson at 913-262-3104.
Leagues throughout the country are hard at work planning for memorable centennial celebrations of the 19th Amendment as well as the founding of the organization. In Johnson County, the celebration will take place on Saturday, February 29, during the afternoon. The event will feature a nationally known speaker as well as a VIP reception before the presentation for major donors and a post-speech reception for all attendees. Negotiations for the venue are still underway.
The 2020 Celebration Committee, led by Donna Lauffer, is seeking suggestions on possible speakers. The person should be a nationally known woman (able to draw a crowd of 1,000+ people) and not overtly partisan.
If you have a suggestion for speakers, please email Donna.
Your Support Matters
Did you know that our local League keeps just 17 percent of every individual LWV membership? The rest goes to the state and national LWV. We work to make every dollar count. Since March, our local League has:
- Hosted 140 voter registration events at schools, churches, festivals and senior living communities
- Registered more than 1,500 people to vote
- Hosted three Board of County Commissioner candidate events
Imagine the impact we could have if each member gave an additional $25, $50, $100 or more!
Our vote is our voice. Your donation helps those voices to be heard. We cannot do this work without you!
Welcome, New Members
Five people joined LWVJoCo during the past month: Carol and Mike Shimeall, Denise Roberts, Sasha Weber and Leslie Callenbach.
And as always, we remind members to renew their memberships, which expired June 30. Renew online—it’s fast and easy.
Even though the League doesn’t have a chapter in Wyandotte County, it still has a vibrant advocate in member Beth Seberger. At neighborhood events, local markets, high schools and legislative coffees, Beth serves her community registering and educating voters. Read how she furthers the League’s goals in Wyandotte County.
The new Lenexa library branch and continuation of the Legends West Lawn Project in Wyandotte County were among the many issues public officials discussed in meetings this month. Read summaries created by several League members who attend these public meetings regularly.
Board and Committee Updates
- The League is taking an active role in planning for the 2020 Census. President Ellen Miller represented the League at Johnson County’s Census Count Committee’s meeting this month. The committee’s goal is to educate and encourage people to participate in the census.
- Lack of affordable housing creates challenges for countless individuals and families in Johnson County. Read LWVJoCo’s Housing Affordability Study Group report on homelessness in Johnson County.
- Read the Natural Resources Committee article about local water quality reports.
- The board needs volunteers to help with event planning, hospitality, communications and the Speakers Bureau. If you are interested, please email our membership team.
Find out more about what the state League is doing.
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